Pitino offers suggestion for potential Big East divisions

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Rick Pitino is so mad about Louisville’s upcoming Big East schedule, he’s ready to split the conference into divisions. Well, at least once TCU joins the party in 2012.

He’s even divided the schools.

The Cardinals coach laid his idea Thursday morning on his website, proposing and East division with DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s, South Florida and Villanova. The West would include Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Pitt, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse, TCU and West Virginia.

Here’s his vision for the schedule:

You build rivalries within your division.  Each team would play 16 league games.  Everything would be fair and level for everyone.  The tournament at MSG is where we will have cross competition.  After the byes, East 1 will play West bottom and vice versa.  We would all play each other twice in our division.  Rivalries will be created.  And the schedule will be fair for everyone.  It’s food for thought.  The special logistics will be worked out by the boys at the Pub.

Geography aside, those divisions almost certainly would need work. Syracuse and Georgetown are mad they’re only playing once this season, let alone what other schools might want.

Pitino’s idea or something similar will almost certainly be considered by league officials. As Mike DeCourcy wrote in May, a 17-team league can’t help but feel a little bloated. But he also says a 17-team league isn’t much different than the 16-team version, which has thrived despite some predicting it would collapse by sheer logistic nightmare.

How about this: They forget to add TCU to the hoops schedule and the Horned Frogs keep playing MWC foes. Would anyone really notice?

UPDATE: As Brian Ewart as VUHoops noted, the split would align for football’s purposes. Failed to notice this when I placed South Florida in the wrong division.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley
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No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”:

Wayne Selden stars as Kansas wins the title in Maui

Wayne Selden Jr., Jeff Roberson
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The last time we wrote about Wayne Selden in this space, it was my colleague Scott Phillips who questioned, after a poor performance in the Champions Classic, whether or not Selden is capable of bring a primary scorer for a team with NCAA title aspirations.

At the time, it wasn’t an unfair question to ask.

Selden is a former top 15 recruit. He is a guy who was expected to go one-and-done that played poorly in the first big game of his third year on campus. But after three days it Maui, it appears that the old Wayne Selden is gone.

[MORE: Kansas got Cheick Diallo news today]

He capped an MVP performance in the Maui Invitational with 25 points and seven boards on 8-for-11 shooting as the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks knocked off No. 19 Vanderbilt, 70-63, in the title game. Selden was terrific for the entire weekend, averaging 21.5 points in the two games against Division I competition and shooting 12-for-17 from beyond the arc in the three game tournament.

It was the best that we’ve seen Selden play during his Jayhawk career, and it came in a game the Jayhawks desperately needed it. Vanderbilt is a damn good team. They’re ranked 19th, which may actually be too low, and they seem to clearly be the biggest challenger to Kentucky in the SEC. They jumped out to a double-digit lead on Kansas in the first half as the Jayhawks seemed to be sleep-walking early in the game.

Enter Selden. He drilled three threes in the first half and scored 13 of the 26 Jayhawk points to keep them close. In other words, he played like a star on a night Kansas desperately needed someone to step up and play like a star. Remember: this is a dude that had enough talent and potential in high school to be considered a McDonald’s All-American and a potential lottery pick. The ability is there:

(That move is filthy.)

The question has always been whether or not he is capable of putting it all together, of being the guy that can be relied upon to make the big play in the big moment, to carry a team with title aspirations.

And to be fair, the jury is still out in that regard. Are we just going to ignore those four free throws he clanged down the stretch?

But seeing Selden have this kind of performance in a game like this against a team that is this good is unquestionably a positive for Kansas moving forward.